In early 1997 andiO (Andreas Otto, maker of www.mp3.de)
asked me on IRCnet #OS/2ger
about doing a website with OS/2 related content.
The idea was born, and we started to develop some pages. At first it was nothing
more than some news from other pages and a link-list... we planned to have something
like we have today, but we couldn't manage it at that point in time. So in July,
1997 www.OS-2.de took its place. The pages were
only in German and were hosted at andiO's workplace at in-trier.de.
The site was not accessed very often... I think we were proud when we first hit
2000 pageviews in one month.
Many people were involved in the project, but most had no time. Thanks again
to Thomas Bruehl, Mike Haller, Alexander Mai, Arne Blankerts,
Torsten Jaehnigen, Markus Hannig (in no order). This changed when
Kerni (Andreas Linde) joined the team.
In 1998 the server moved to pmnet.uni-oldenburg.de
where Macfly (Friedhelm Buescher) hosted the pages on a little OS/2
box called "Marcie". Unfortunately, we didn't make the kind of progress
we'd hoped for -- so we reduced the size of the team, and started over with Macfly,
Kerni and Markus Hannig.
We got the idea (suggested in over 100 emails) to provide all information
in German AND English, so I registered OS2.org in August 1998. But boy, it
was a hard site to develop - it took about 6 months to before we could launch it.
See below. :)
The big step ahead...
andiO was leaving, to return to his mp3.de
site, Macfly had only work and left pmnet.uni-oldenburg.de
too. So Kerni decided to move the webserver to his private machine at his
students dorm. This was at the beginning of 1999. Kerni was the only one developing
the webserver now... I did nothing besides looking for my own job -- sorry guys
:). He bugged me all day with new ideas - I was not nice to him. Only told him "Do
it - do not ask, let me work".
But I think it was GOOD for the pages. The pages where already being administrated
by a db-engine in REXX using normal files written by hamsta (Mike Haller).
So it was pretty easy to add, edit and remove news on the webpages. The pages now
had to be served in two languages, and the load was increasing, so Kerni decided
to learn php while rewriting the database and all CGIs. I feared what would happen,
but everything worked out for the best.
The new online management system and the websites have been completely rewritten
and enhanced. It is based on PHP3 and MySQL middleware, running on a OS/2 machine
with Apache/2 1.3.6. Everything is very modular, so adding new content and managing
content can be done quickly. We can use the same scripts to add many different features.
This way we also make sure that the webpage handling for the users is similar, wherever
After the online management system was somewhat finished, OS2.org was
ready to launch. With the extra content came more traffic: we had 34.000
pageviews on OS2.org in February 1999.
We added more forums, older ones were completly rewritten and the access logfile
got bigger each month. Unfortunately, at Kerni's place the connectivity was
not the best and people began to bug us with tons of email when the server was not
What to do? We had no money for commercial housing. I managed to set up a host
PC at Xlink - since then you may have seen their
banner at the bottom of our pages :).
We needed a PC at least, so I invested some money, (thanks to my brother it was
not that expensive ;), and we put the new
server up. This was in August 1999 and we had grown over 150.000 pageviews
each month, rapidly growing. I also managed to get the OS2.de domain, so
the server is reachable via www.OS2.org, www.OS-2.de
and www.OS2.de. You can't miss it ;).
Maybe you know the rest of the story. Even more services are online, discussions
take place in both languages simultaneously, and more...
Don K. Eitner was looking for
a new place for his OS/2 application collection, and so SoftWhere!?
section was started. Don did a tremendous job, filling the database with more
than 1300 entries.
OS2.org also hosts two more helpful software sections: updates
and drivers. These are two growing
lists. The one with lots of (more than 100) software updates to OS/2, Java
and more. The other, the driver section, includes a list of more than 100
drivers for OS/2. All the items in these sections are monitored, automatically,
for updates once a day. So if there is, for example, a new fixpak detected, the
news will automatically be generated and the pages will be updated right away!
Hardware is another new section on
OS2.org. It is intented to get a place for everyone to search for the best
OS/2 compatible hardware.
Other features are a HelpDesk
and discussion forum, tips
collection, links collection, OS/2 events calendar, surveys
and much more.
All these sections need YOUR help. You are able to add new content EVERYWHERE
on OS2.org, you can even write comments to nearly any part of the page and
rate SoftWhere!?-, Hardware- and Links-Items.
The more you add, the more helpful it will be for OS/2 users surfing our site.
OS2.org also a big search engine for most of the areas, so it should be easy
to find the information you are looking for.
And we have some new people who have recently joined our team:
Joerg Sievers from Warpsite helps us keep
the news section up to date.
So, now we are in the year 2000 (hope you all made it). December was again a
great month, OS2.org is growing up to over 25.000 provided pages and
277.000 pageviews altogether.
What next? More disk-space! :)
In fact we are still planning to re-introduce Zebra since Warpstock
Europe. For those who do not know: Zebra is an old 7-8 GB BBS-Filearchive. Maybe
we can add a mirror from Hobbes for the European people. Just send us suggestions
An ftp-mirror of Netlabs and some other
sites are in the works. LOS2CL
(Large OS/2 Customer List) will come to us as well. We already provide daily builds
and the alpha release of Project Odin for download.
As you might already have read, we cooperate with Adrian Gschwend from Netlabs.
We think all OS/2 sites should work together and bundle their strength, to keep
OS/2 going, and make life easier for everyone using this lovely system.
I hope we can provide this service for at least another 2.5 years!
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